Components and Design
Removing the Frio from its retail packaging reminded me of unwrapping presents at Christmas for some reason. The solid feel of the heatsink surprised me because of all the plastic used in this product. However, at more than 1,000 grams, the Frio is no lightweight and should provide more than adequate cooling for any quad or six-core processor.
The aluminum fin array is intertwined between eight U-shaped heatpipes that pull heat from the base and out through the fins. This processor for dissipating heat has caught on over the past few years and is good for enthusiasts and overclockers looking for a cooling solution that can handle pushing the core past its power and speed limits.
The back of the Frio includes another fan bracket to mount the included 120mm fan. I don’t know why Thermaltake didn’t install the extra fan, but the mounting uses rubber tabs to connect the fan and bracket. The bracket itself connects to the fin array using four plastic snaps that are accessible on both sides of the fan bracket.
This unit pushes more than 100 cubic feet per minute (CFM), which helps users gauge how the amount of air a fan can circulate through the Frio. This high CFM allows bumps up each fan’s operating noise, which hovers between 20 and 43 dBa depending on if the fans are set to 1,200 or 2,500 RPMs.
The base is made from aluminum and copper and was very polished and showed very subtle signs of milling. The heatpipes are welded over the base to allow the heat from the core to flow through the base, into the heatpipes, and out the fin array. The four holes around the base are used to mount different mounting brackets according to different CPU socket types.
The top of the Frio is made of plastic, but leaves from from the top of the heatpipes to dissipate heat. Thermaltake added a nice company logo at the top as well as two red rails for aesthetics.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of one of the Frio’s biggest air-cooled heatsinks on the market — the Zalman CNPS10X Flex. We have shown the Flex without any fans, but rest assure that this heatsink can handle dual 120mm fans just like the Frio. But, unlike the Frio, it uses frustrating metal clips instead of plastic brackets to mount the fans to the fin array.